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Land Acknowledgement November 10, 2021 - Recognition of First Nation, Métis. and Inuit Veterans and Serving Member and Veterans

Commercial and Military Alliances Between Settlers and Indigenous Peoples Go Back to the Period of First Contact

As Europeans encroached further into traditional indigenous lands, North America became a new theatre of war in the power struggles between the Europeans, and eventually within North America itself.  By the mid-18th century, both France and Great Britain had established alliances with different and competing Indigenous groups.

In New France, French authorities developed a mutually dependent relationship with the Huron, Algonquians, Mi'kmaq, and Innu. In France's near-constant conflict with Great Britain over North America, their Indigenous allies proved to be indispensable. Their military skill especially their guerrilla tactics allowed the French to control large tracts of land with a relatively small number of French soldiers in New France. 

Britain's alliance was primarily with the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy). With the outbreak of the Seven Year War, 1753 to 1760, many Indigenous people who were allied with the French, choose or were convinced to remain neutral. The British in North America who fared poorly at the outset of the conflict, primarily due to the military expertise of France's Indigenous allies, created the Indian Department in 1755 and appointed Sir William Johnson as Superintendant of the Northern District (we all know how that turned out).

 

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